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Prosecutors probe shooting of store clerk by NY police

By Kristina Sgueglia
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Tue September 11, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bronx DA investigates police shooting of store clerk called accident
  • Attorney said victim's family questions whether shooting was accidental
  • New York police involved in other high profile shootings over past month

New York (CNN) -- Prosecutors investigated the shooting of a convenience store clerk by a New York City police officer, while the victim's family questioned whether the death was an accident as police believe.

A spokesman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson told CNN on Monday that prosecutors were probing the death of Reynaldo Cuevas, 20, who was killed early Friday while fleeing a robbery at a bodega.

"The DA met with the family and is conducting a thorough investigation," Johnson spokesman Steven Reid said.

"We are looking into the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident," Reid said.

New York police have been involved in other deadly, high profile shootings in the past month near Times Square and outside the Empire State Building.

Police said Cuevas, the father of a 3-year-old girl, ran from the corner bodega during a 2 a.m. robbery by three suspects, at least one of them armed. He then collided with an officer responding to the scene.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters on Friday that "we believe" the officer accidentally fired his gun when the two "became entangled."

CNN obtained a copy of a police surveillance video of the robbery and aftermath, which shows Cuevas sprinting head on into an officer, who then pins him to the ground. The officer was not identified.

Also on Monday, Cuevas' family questioned the official account of the shooting.

"The family believes it wasn't an accident, that wrongful death occurred, and they want a grand jury to make that decision," the family's attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, told CNN.

Cuevas' older brother told reporters at a news conference on Sunday that he wants justice.

"He went two blocks for help and the help he went to get was the help that killed him," Joel Cuevas said.

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